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National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

Statement of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Margaret I. Johnston, Ph.D. and Gary J. Nabel, M.D., Ph.D.

May 18, 2010

More people today have access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS than ever before. Yet for every person who begins treatment for HIV infection, two to three others become newly infected. Treatment alone will not curtail the HIV/AIDS pandemic. To control and ultimately end this pandemic, we need a powerful array of proven HIV prevention tools that are widely accessible to all who would benefit from them.

Vaccines historically have been the most effective means to prevent and even eradicate infectious diseases. They safely and cost-effectively prevent illness, disability and death. We at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have been working for more than two decades with our colleagues worldwide to develop an HIV vaccine, and this research continues to rank among our top priorities. National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day marks an opportunity to reflect on our progress, renew our commitment to finding an HIV vaccine, and personally thank the scientists, community educators, health care workers, and especially the many study volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to this important endeavor. Only with the continued commitment of volunteers may we more effectively confront the global scourge of HIV/AIDS and pursue the goal of an HIV vaccine.

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